Google Website Translator Gadget

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A couple of useful translation and pronunciation websites

An unpronounceable Northumberland market town yesterday...
Ever struggle to work out how to pronounce a word? My (evil foreign) wife is always asking how to pronounce things. I'm fine with most words, but some place names can be a real horror. I live in the small town of Alnwick - can you guess how to say the name? It's ah-nick - silent L, silent W. The next town along is called Alnmouth (both towns are on the River Aln) so one might presume that it's pronounced an-mouth, but it isn't, for reasons that no one can explain to me. It's pronounced alan-mouth.



Ever struggle to work out how to pronounce a word? My (evil foreign) wife is always asking how to pronounce things. I'm fine with most words, but some place names can be a real horror. I live in the small town of Alnwick - can you guess how to say the name? It's ah-nick - silent L, silent W. The next town along is called Alnmouth (both towns are on the River Aln) so one might presume that it's pronounced an-mouth, but it isn't, for reasons that no one can explain to me. It's pronounced alan-mouth.

And this is why I like Forvo. It's a website that lists lots of words from lots of languages and has recordings of people actually saying them. It even rather handily will show the location of the person doing the pronunciation. You can vote for what you regard as the best ones and even add your own voice if you feel like it. You don't have to register to join the site.

One of the most popular words in the UK section is Alnwick, so it just goes to show how flipping annoying it is as a placename:
http://www.forvo.com/word/alnwick/

Give Forvo a go for any word in any language and chances are you'll find what you're looking (listening?) for.
http://www.forvo.com/



Ever need to translate a whole Office document without having to repeatedly cut and paste small sections? I often have to work with French and German documents and I get on just fine most of the time, but I recently had a French document full of financial terms with which I was unfamiliar. So thank goodness I found DocTranslator.

Just fire up their website, select the document type, allow the little app to open and point it at your document. What I particularly like is that it doesn't upload your file to the site (just as well as I had a 400MB Excel file), but does it all on your own computer using the Google Translate API. It is machine translation, so it will be a bit clunky, but it gets the job done and remarkably quickly too.

Give it a try. It's good for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Acrobat PDF files as well as plain old text and now even subtitle files.
http://www.onlinedoctranslator.com/

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